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How to Find Vintage Oil Paintings

At The Market

September 18, 2019

We’ve talked about my hoarding collections before the trophies, the ironstone, the pyrex, the jadeite….. i could go on forever baby. i thought it would be fun to do a series of some tips and tricks i’ve learned over time to find specific items. Since I added a new lady to my wall i thought we would start with oil paintings.

How to find Vintage Oil Paintings at flea markets and antique stores.

I have found vintage oil paintings mostly in antique stores and flea markets. Usually by the time I get to estate sales they’re long gone and the estate sales around west Michigan are not known for their European art. The two gals next to my jadeite cupboard were both found at antique markets. The madame with the feather hat was found at the Country Living fair in Columbus, Ohio and the little red riding hood gal was found at the Allegan antique market.

I kind of like how they are a bit off center on the wall and I think that is where I am going to leave them. I’m fighting the urge to continue to go up the wall but I love keeping the dining room simple and my collections limited to the cabinet.

Looking to find some vintage oil paintings of your own? Here are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

How to find Vintage Oil Paintings at flea markets and antique stores.

  1. Search through the stacks – At antique stores and flea markets I usually find that pictures, frames and more are stacked up against tables and in boxes. 90% of them are weird prints or garbage but every now and then I find a killer landscape or portrait in the mix. It takes time and digging but you’ll typically find the best prices on ones that are being sold for their vintage frames.
  2. Shop inside the barns – When Liz and I go to antique shows I have to run through the barns because they’re usually crowded and Liz typically is looking at the stuff she’s into outside. But a lot of art dealers don’t want to risk the weather turning and ruining their inventory so you’ll find art dealers inside. I found little red riding hood inside the barn at Allegan from one of my favorite dealers who always has great deals and always offers me good deals if I buy more than one.
  3. Look inside the tiny booths- Art does not take up a lot of room so typically art dealers will rent a single wall space at an antique store. As you are going from room to room look at the walls. I found this large painting for the parlor for $75 (which is a STEAL) hanging in a small narrow hallway.

I hope these three tips help you get started. Art is fun because it’s subjective right? If you love it, it’s art to you. The portraits are not for everyone but I love the thought that someone took the time to paint these people. It’s like they’re my new instant relatives.

Do you collect art work? Where are your favorite places to find them? Do you collect a specific type?

How to find Vintage Oil Paintings at flea markets and antique stores.

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  1. Kirsten J says:

    Okay, now you have me wanting to go searching for old oil paintings….

  2. Becky says:

    I love old paintings! My new obsession is horses. Thank you for the tips and happy hunting

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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